Welcome to week 3 of the Ultimate Block Challenge for the month of July. For this challenge I have divided the month into topics, loosely following the weeks, with a few snippets that have absolutely no connection to said topics. The idea is to post something each day of the month, preferably related to the topic for that particular week. It is not beyond the bounds of probability, however, that a post may find its way into a week that has absolutely nothing to do with the topic. It will be my brain having gone ta-tas momentarily and no doubt a deadline looming.
I had been a diary-keeping girl but let that go when someone broke the lock on my diary and read it. Oh the shame and ignominy of the confessions laid bare in tattered judgement! The embarrassment was excruciating. Never again! Never. Ever. Again. But you know what they say about never and ever.
The love affair with my journal started afresh when I decided to write my life history. Would I start at birth and keep going (how intimidating). Perhaps I could start ‘here’ and work back to ‘there’ – equally daunting. So I shelved the idea, not consciously. Seriously how do you find where the ball of wool begins without having to unwind the whole kit and caboodle? Well, you can’t, which is why I shelved the idea.
However, in recent times I’ve discovered the beauty of journalling and how liberating and free-wheeling it is. Nowadays, there are the two of us: the MOTH (Man Of The House) and me, and he’s a headline guy, not much bothered with pith and passion. I figure I’m safe. Journalling helped me discover how I felt about life now, life past, and how I figured life might look in years to come. I mused, fantasised and ranted as my hand moved across the page and the pages flipped over at speed. It was cathartic. Every now and again there’d be a glimmer of possibility, a sparkle on the page. My journal was the catalyst that got me moving.
Tackling the task without a compass was too hard but I am an introvert and one of the many things we’re really good at is research. (We read the instruction book before plugging anything in) What! Research how to write your life story? The idea seemed absurd but it was true, I had absolutely no idea how to get started on my story. I read books, talked to people, joined a writing group, entered writing competitions and spent hours pondering my past. Still nothing … until I asked myself – why?
- So my children and grand children will know about my childhood and early adulthood life
- So they can understand why I am the person I am
- So they know the ‘me’ that was before ‘them’ and the ‘me’ that is after ‘them’.
- To help heal those parts of my life that need healing
- To make sense of the things that have happened in my life
- To share insight and wisdom
- To produce a piece of writing that has purpose and a place on a bookshelf after I am gone
- To record stories that reflect the variety of experiences that abound in our lives
The above points will all be reflected in my journals if my story never makes it to completion – which is a definite possibility. The more I write, the easier it becomes to confront the fears and vulnerabilities and then hunker down to tease them apart. It is raw emotion that motivates us and it is that vulnerability that draws others to our story. The struggles of others connect us which means we are part of something larger than ourselves and in turn, we are not alone.
Have you written your life story? Did you follow a plan or did it tumble out? Perhaps you journal daily – why?